Genre: Death/Doom Metal | Label: Dark Descent Records
Location: Denver, CO | Listen: Bandcamp
Denver’s Spectral Voice has been making quite the name for themselves in the underground. Although 3/4 of the lineup also play in Blood Incantation, the accolades and hype this band has received are entirely well earned. With the release of 2017’s “Eroded Corridors of Unbeing,” (which I recently gave a 90% review too), the band stands as one of the best death/doom acts in many years. Dark Descent has teamed up with Spectral Voice to put out this compilation that contains their first demo, along with their tracks from four split 7″ records. If you love the album and need more from this band, look no further than this compilation, as it covers all their other studio recordings to date in one nice package.
The “Necrotic Doom” demo starts off the compilation, comprised of the three tracks that made up their first offering in 2015. These tracks are considerably more raw sounding than later material, but it kind of adds to the overall atmosphere. I find this material has a lot of Finnish death metal influence in comparison to the rest of their output. Rippikoulu comes to mind pretty quick, especially with the down picked, chugging riffs as seen in tracks like “Horrid Phantasm.” The band was only a two piece when they did this material, but they still took the time to layer in their signature eerie melodies and creepy sounds. There’s some ethereal clean guitar bits and even some subtle synthesizers in the background for atmosphere. In addition to these demo tracks, “(Slowly) Claimed by Oblivion,” the track from the Blood Incantation split, was also recorded during the same session. To no surprise, it fits right in with these demo tracks with its gloomy sounds and rawer recording.
The remaining three tracks come from three different splits, and like the full length, were all recorded at World Famous Studio by Pete DeBoer. This guy is a total professional, giving these tracks a huge, natural sound with plenty of clarity and feeling, all while avoiding any lifelessly clinical modern sounds. As for the songs themselves, “Peeled Veins” (from the Phrenelith split) is one of their most straight ahead death metal songs, starting off right away with a tremolo riff, but it still has an expected slow section in the middle. I absolutely love the lead tone that shows up about a third of the way through “Katabatic Depths” (from the Vastum split), the combination of modulation and delay sounds unique and always gets me with every listen. The final track of the compilation is the newest Spectral Voice song, “Ineffable Winds,” which is on a split with the late Anhedonist. It is a lot gloomier than the last couple tracks, and they put some massive echoes/delays on some of the drum parts that gives the impression this was unearthed from a long forgotten cavern.
If you loved “Eroded Corridors of Unbeing,” the “Necrotic Demos” compilation is absolutely worth hearing. I already owned all but two of the splits that are represented on this compilation, and I still bought it. Having all these songs on one CD is convenient, especially since I still use CDs in my car all the time. If you’re into bands like diSEMBOWELMENT, Rippikoulu, Anhedonist and Krypts, this band needs to be on your radar if they aren’t already. Spectral Voice have impressed me with every single release of theirs, and as such, I am desperately waiting for more material from these Denver death/doom demons.